Electric vehicles, or EVs, are simply vehicles that have an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine. Companies like Tesla and Rivian are thriving in the US. You may recognise Tesla as the most prominent electric car producer. Their goal was to make an affordable car that wouldn’t damage the environment. They’ve been really successful in places like the US and are on the rise in India. So where did they all start and why were they made?
The history of Electric Vehicles
Electric Vehicles date all the way back to the 19th century. In 1928, the first electric motor was made by Anyos Jedlik. Then, in 1839 Robert Anderson invented a crude electric carriage. This sparked tremendous curiosity, so the race to build an EV started.
Fast-forward more than a century, and the VIKRAM SAFA, the first fully electric vehicle, is made by Scooter’s India Pvt Ltd. It was a three-wheeler. Over the next 10 years, India advanced a lot and invented many more EVs. It’s kind of ironic that although India has created the first few sets of EVs, today, there are very few seen on the road.
Why were Electric Vehicles made?
The 21st century marks the rise of pollution and climate change. Considering that vehicles running on fossil fuels have contributed to much of the air pollution, about 4.6 metric tons of carbon monoxide per vehicle, an alternative path had to be taken, Electric Vehicles. It gained more and more interest and had many other factors such as no requirements to change gears, no vibration sounds at all and no manual start. This gives them a huge advantage over normal standard cars but also at a higher cost. For example, a TATA Nexon costs about 7.5 lakhs, whereas the TATA Nexon EV costs nearly 15 lakhs! (2022).
Electric Vehicles and India (Challenges)
Electric Vehicles require a lot of good infrastructure and facilities. Factories must have the technology and machinery to manufacture the parts. Moreover, there must be regular charging points all over India; else, it could be a big problem.
A key reason that prevents EV customers from going ahead is the range anxiety. Customers are afraid that their battery won’t last from point A to point B. India also lacks the resources needed for the vehicles meaning they require imports which increases the prices altogether. Lithium-Ion batteries could be really expensive too.
India has its own companies, such as Mahindra Electric and Tata Motors, being the biggest. Pune is by far the most ahead out of all the states in India in terms of EVs. Even going as far as to being named the EV hub of India.
Electric Vehicles and India (Opportunities)
In Bangalore, there has also been a rise in charging stations. Just yesterday, as I was walking back to my car in the parking area, I noticed a newly constructed charging output. There was an area dedicated to it.
Moreover, petrol prices have risen to nearly 100 rupees per litre due to the ongoing war crisis. Investing in an EV would be a great long-term alternative. The easier maintenance and low cost of ownership could play the key deciding factors between normal vehicles and electric ones. The future of EVs is big, and they could play a significant role in how we as human beings defeat climate change.
The future of Electric Vehicles in India
Since 2021, companies have been working hard to manufacture affordable EVs. Their goals are to remove the thought that electric cars are expensive. For example, E-Trio focuses on e-cars, bikes and three-wheelers. There has also been a rise in charging stations, with around 1640 public chargers.
As of today, India’s EVs make up only 0.29% of the overall registrations for vehicles, compared to 1% in the US. When I grow up, I would preferably want to get an Electric Car.
I think EVs are the future of this planet. Slowly, all polluting vehicles will be replaced with clean and sufficient EVs. India has a long way to go, and many believe that by 2024 this percentage will increase because, after all, it is our job to pay interest in renewing our planet!
Contributor: Aarush Mohan
About our Writing Program Student
A teenager with a love for football and gaming, Aarush Mohan is a budding pianist and also plays the violin. He is currently teaching piano to an 8-year-old in his neighbourhood. This 8th Grader from Greenwood High International School, Bangalore has lived in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan.